Observations, Technology.

Toyota Prius’s not so "sudden acceleration"

Do Toyotas suddenly accelerate? The Department of Transportation isn’t having any of it; it appears to be pretty much just driver error.

A new article in the Wall Street Journal says that the U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that at the time of the crashes, throttles were wide open and the brakes were not engaged, which points directly to driver error.

When I first heard of the Toyota Prius sudden acceleration problem, as an owner, I paid attention. My first response was to take my Prius onto a back street and test it to see how quickly I could disengage the engine and shut it off.  I accelerated rapidly, then hit the brakes, put the car in neutral, and shut off the engine. The engine was off in less than 5 seconds, and the car came to a normal stop.  I really saw no reason to worry at that point, and have yet to go have my floormat replaced.

Interestingly enough, Prius sales have increased year over year while these “sudden acceleration” claims were being made. It would seem that not many other people believed that there was a real problem, either.

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